Hosanna Childrens Home for Orphans

Our last night in Mamallapuram we went to visit Hosanna Children home. We have brought a big bag of used childrens clothing from Denmark, and I also wanted to donate some money to the organization. I think handing money out to beggars, especially children, is an evil circle – but we felt obliged to help somebody, and not just stroll past all the poor and unhappy we meet on our travels.

So together with Pawel and Magdalena, we took a taxi from our hotel … They gave us such a friendly welcome. The children danced and performed, we played games together, and went out for a village walk. It was wonderfull to see which warm and hearty atmosphere Mr Balasamy, his wife and the wonderfull teacher can create. Having so little, they can still create a family for the children, and give them a good childhood.

Mr. Balasamy told us they have 10 orphans, and a child of their own. The house is tiny 3 rooms and a little yard – perhaps 50 square meters all together – and a leaky roof during monsoon time. Mamallapuram was hit by the tsunami, and this has left many children without parents. The orphanage is run without much financial aid – local shops donate rice and other food items.

Magdalena was taken by the girls, they painted her hand with henna, braided her hair with flowers – she was beautifull as a priness! Pawel enjoyed playing games with the boys. They gave us a lot of hugs, a lot of smiles – and taught us a few tamil words. I bought ballons and a carussel ride for the whole gang – this was the warmest feeling of happiness you can experience.

We went home in our tuk-tuk, thinking about which wonderfull people we just have met …

The adress of the orphanage is:

Hosanna Childrens Home For Orphans

Door. No. 47, Annal Gandhi Street

Mamallapuram / 603 104

email: hosannahomehelp@Yazoo.com

phone: 9380813798

Have landed

Well we have landed – everything went surprisingly smoothly at the airport in Chennai – where is the befamed Indian beaurecracy?
We were met at the airport at 2 am by Chandram, a taxi driver recommended by the owner of a coffe plantation in Coorg where we head next week –  even the megasized bag with used clothes for an orphanage got into his car …
I must defend myself: we have packed tried to pack “lightly” … hm … well it didnt quite work out, had to bring both mountainboots, sleepingbags, winterjackets for our nepal trek … anyway, we got into the car.

Checked into the hotel at 3am, got a very clean room, with a big double bed – I got to sleep in the middle. Woke up, eat a great breakfast buffet. Time confusion was the main topic of the day … London is GMT, Denmark is CET, Chennai is IMT, which means you have to either substract 1 hour, add 1 hour or 5,5 hours … When Magdalena wants to know the time, she asks for it in all 3 zones …

Pawel had the sole attention of the manager and about 3 waiters – everybody tried to make sure that he will not go hungry despite his gluten/lactose free diet … the little card with hindi translations just worked wonders!

We spend the day extremely relaxing – in the pool, jumping big waves at the beach … which is by the way bounty landish, soft sand, palms, and the indian addition: a couple of cows, some fighting dogs, a steady stream of villagers that use the beach as a major pathway from one village to the next, carrying loads on their heads and all smiles.

A local fisherman invited us into his house – a so called “restaurant” … clean, colourfull – but definitely not an restaurant. We promised to come back tomorrow – he will cook a meal for us.

In the evening, when the worst heat faded out we went with a tuk-tuk to nearby Mamallapuram – a little village, where all of  its inhabitants were walking the streets simultanously … bought local light clothing for the 3 of us, and retreated to spend the rest of the day relaxing.
I am struck by the extreme friendliness of people – they can be annoying yes, the traffic is chaotic, yes we use desinfectant wet wipes before each meal – but I really like where we are.

Lets see if I can successfully persuade my daughter to get out of the pool tomorrow?

Last minute & visa trouble & orphanage visit

I look really, really much forward to visiting India.

My family told me after the first encounter with Indian officials – “well, what did you expect”?

When I send in our visa applications, I checked the box that we need a multiple-entry visa. When I got the passports back from the embassy, I saw we were given single-entry visas. We actually need multiple entry, as our travel itinerary is 3 weeks in South India, a flight to Delhi, and then onwards to Kathmandu. We plan to do a trek of 3 weeks, and need to return to Delhi for our return flight to Europe! The Kathmandu-Delhi plane is on 1. April, the Delhi-London on 2. April …
So this all means that if we don’t sort this out, we will have to stay overnight in the airport , instead of a nice and cosy evening at the Yatri House in Delhi

We are trying to pack, the whole room full of stuff, rolls of toiletpaper, wetwipes, anti-bacterial hand wash, gluten free bread for my son – made a checklist for the kids, they have dragged all the stuff into the room, now I am trying to solve the knapsakc-packing-problem …

And a last minute idea was to bring a big bag of used childrens clothing, and donate it to an orphanage in Mamallapuram.

Single female rambling around India with 2 kids in tow

Well, the tickets are bought, visa applications sent – and we have had administered the needed shots.
I am looking forward to my first trip to India, happy as a little kid …
Very excited – this is an old dream coming true … but also as the departure gets closer and closer, starting to be a bit worried.

Still I suddenly feel the burden of being the single parent in a place far, far away from home.
(Most people here at home think that I am absolutely crazy)
I will be travelling on my own with my 2 kids, aged 9 and 12.
I keep thinking: how will the locals react to our family?
Can we expect friendliness and helpfullness – can we basically feel safe?

The travelplan is as follows – I have allocated 3 weeks for all of this – and we will move on to Kathmandu, where we have booked a trek to Everest Base Camp.

Copenhagen -> London -> Chennai -> Mamallapuram (4 nights), we splash out 4 nights at Ideal Beach Resort.

-> Nilgiri express -> Mettupalayam, and then toytrain to Ooty (have not been successfull in booking the train tickets yet online )
We plan to spend 2 nights at an eco jungle resort in Mudumalai
(1 or 2 nights)

-> Mysore (1 or 2 nights) – havent found a nice place to stay yet, but have to go to see the palace, silk factory, and famous yoga chalas

-> Madikeri (3 nights) – we will stay at Golden Mist Plantation, an ecological coffe plantation

-> Allepey (2 nights) – we will stay at a heritage home in the area

-> Houseboat on the backwaters (1 night)

-> Cochi (1 night) -> plane to Delhi
-> Delhi (1 night) -> plane to Kathmandu
… thats it folks …

In my backhand I have left: Hampi and/or Munnar, both places that I would really love to visit …

I am looking forward to meeting India